In 2021, Australian Childhood Foundation research concluded that child abuse is still out of sight and out of mind. This year’s results echo findings over the past two decades that indicate child abuse is of less concern to the community than problems with public transport and roads. Not only is there a lack of awareness of the issues that children face, but also a lack of belief of children who disclose abuse. The community at large remains ambivalent about trusting children and lacks all of the building blocks required to prevent child abuse and adequately act to protect them from abuse and neglect.

People are not aware of the true scale and impact of child abuse and do not believe that it is as widespread as it really is, or the level of risk that children and young people face in their own homes. These attitudes allow for the continued abuse of children and young people.

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Key insights

  • 1 in 3 respondents do not believe child abuse is a problem that they need be concerned about.

  • 67% of respondents believe that children make up stories about being abused or are uncertain whether to believe children when they disclosed abuse.

  • 1 in 5 respondents were not confident of being able to recognise that a child was being abused or neglected.

  • 22% of respondents had witnessed a child or young people being physically abused by an adult family member over the past five years.

  • Of most concern is that 1 in 6 who reported having witnessed abuse did nothing to protect the child or young person, leaving them in real danger.

Still Unseen

and Ignored

Download Still Unseen and Ignored report

Fact Sheet

Download our fact sheet for an overview of the Still Unseen and Ignored report.